CANADAÆS COMPETITION BUREAU CLEARS CN TO BUY WISCONSIN CENTRAL
CANADA'S COMPETITION BUREAU CLEARS CN TO BUY WISCONSIN CENTRAL
Canada's Competition Bureau has cleared Canadian National Railway Co.'s proposed acquisition of Wisconsin Central Transportation Corp.
The proposed deal is still being reviewed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which is treating it as a minor transaction for regulatory review purposes. The STB said it expects to make a final decision on the proposed merger by Sept. 7, if no environmental assessment is required and there is no oral argument.
CN offered $800 million for WCTC, or $17.15 a share cash, plus assuming $400 million in Wisconsin Central debt.
If approved, the merger will give CN control of a link in its North American Free Trade Agreement network between Superior, Wis., and Chicago.
Rosemont, Ill.-based Wisconsin Central is CN's largest customer and has been hauling CN freight between Superior and Chicago under a 1998 agreement.
CN, which acquired Illinois Central two years ago, said it will sell off Wisconsin Central's overseas rail properties. Those include a 42-percent stake in English, Welsh and Scottish Railways and a 24-percent stake in Trans Rail Holdings, a New Zealand rail operator.
CN said its application has the support of more than 280 shippers, local governments, chambers of commerce, public agencies, and other railroads.